New councillor ready to fight for Fazeley residents

Olivia Joy Shepherd is determined to keep all of her promises to Fazeley residents, following her election as a Conservative councillor.

The 24-year-old, who grew up in the area, insists she and her Lichfield District Council colleagues are preparing to take action on a range of issues.

And she believes she can balance the responsibilities of elected office alongside her other work.

Cllr Olivia Joy Shepherd (centre) feels the nerves at the election count

Cllr Olivia Joy Shepherd (centre) feels the nerves at the election count

“I run my own stage school business at the weekend and I work in events and education at Tamworth Castle, but my hours are flexible,” she said. “For example, when I had to attend my council induction work were fine with me doing that.

“I’m a busy person, but I never would have stood for council if I didn’t feel I was able to commit to the role.

“I’m determined to keep all of my promises to residents. I don’t want anyone in my ward to think that I’ve forgotten. My priority is to represent the issues and concerns of residents.

“I understand the issues in Fazeley as I grew up in the area and my family has 30 to 40 years worth of history here. I and my council colleagues are looking into a range of issues such as speeding on the Sutton Road and parking at Fazeley Town Hall.”

Winning over voters isn’t the first political triumph for Cllr Shepherd – she’s previously had to highlight her Tory believes a little closer to home.

“My family are staunch Labour supporters,” she said. “I won’t ask them how they voted, but I believe they put their cross next to my name.

“My uncle said to me you vote for the candidate and not the party.”

Cllr Shepherd topped the poll in Fazeley with 1,060 votes, but the entrepreneur revealed she was too nervous to watch the count.

She said: “I couldn’t look because I was winding myself up.

“I couldn’t believe I had won it was an ‘oh my God’ moment. Then you start to think that so many people have voted for you and now I’ve to represent them to the best of my ability.

“I would like to thank everyone who voted for me.

“When I got home from the count I had two emails from residents who said ‘well done’ and that they were very pleased I had got in.

“These are people who I had a chat with on the doorstep while campaigning.”

However, the dance, theatre and professional practice graduate from Coventry University stressed she would be lost without her acting.

Cllr Shepherd is involved with the Tamworth Pantomime Company, which is gearing up for this year’s performance of Aladdin.

She said: “After university I worked for two years as a performer.

“I’ve gone into the teaching side of things now, but I still act.

“If I wasn’t performing I would go mad, because I love it.”

NCTJ-trained reporter with experience in a wide variety of journalism settings.